Most plugged-in observers were expecting a relatively quiet trade deadline for the Los Angeles Lakers, with the most recent NBA trade rumors coming into the day pointing towards the purple and gold standing pat and shifting their focus to 2019 free agency rather than clearing cap space for the 2018 class by moving players like Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance, Jr.
The idea of a muted deadline was shot to pieces Thursday morning, however, when hours before the trade deadline the Lakers shipped Nance and Clarkson to the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye and Cleveland’s protected 2018 first-round pick.
That deal might have seemed like it could be the thunderclap preceding an avalanche of activity for Los Angeles, but Bill Oram of the O.C. Register reported that the contrary was true and that it would be the only significant trade of the day for the Lakers:
I’m told this will be the Lakers only major deal, although there always could be something minor on the back end (like Huertas/Ennis swap last year)
— Bill Oram (@billoram) February 8, 2018
The Lakers still aren’t a sure thing to stay quiet heading into the deadline. If another team was willing to take on the contract of Luol Deng or blow them away with a godfather offer for Julius Randle it seems likely the Lakers would consider it, but outside of those two the team doesn’t have a lot of players left to move.
Members of the team’s young core like Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart would seem to be all but untouchable, while it would be hard to find teams that value young players like Thomas Bryant and Ivica Zubac as much as the Lakers probably do.
As for the rest of the roster, they either have little-to-no trade value (Corey Brewer, Tyler Ennis) or a bloated contract that makes it difficult to find a suitor that makes sense (Brook Lopez, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope).
Given those realities, the Lakers not making another move seems like an easy enough assumption, and so it appears the #WojBombs are probably over. For now.
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